Harvard Extension School - Admissions

<p>I was researching the Masters programs at the Harvard Extension School. I like the program but have some questions and I can't find the answer anywhere to it .The Extension School had no answers for me.</p>

<p>To get admitted to the Extension School program you need to get a B+ average in 3 of the admission courses. I was told once you're accepted into the program the graduation rate is 96% (great to hear).</p>

<p>Unfortunately, I also read online that only 1/5 of one percent of people who take a course at the Extension end up with a degree. (1 in 500) I read that here:</p>

<p><a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2013/09/did-i-really-go-to-harvard-if-i-got-my-degree-taking-online-classes/279644/"&gt;http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2013/09/did-i-really-go-to-harvard-if-i-got-my-degree-taking-online-classes/279644/&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>Therefore, the question is...What is the general probability of getting accepted into the program (B+ average in the first three admission courses)? </p>

<p>My background is I went to Penn State University for my undergraduate degree. My GPA was 3.95( in Accounting) and I was in the Honors Program as well.</p>

<p>Also, if you have an opinion give a good basis to support it..</p>


<p>Harvard’s Extension School is mainly comprised of working professionals who have day jobs, some have families to raise – that’s why many of the classes occur at night and on the weekends. I imagine most students start out with the intention of completing their degree, but sometimes life gets in the way. <a href=“http://harvardextended.blogspot.com/2008/03/1-question.html”>http://harvardextended.blogspot.com/2008/03/1-question.html</a>

That said, I know several people who live in Boston and have received their masters from the extension school. If you don’t already live in the area, Cambridge can be pricey, especially if you don’t yet have a job in the Boston area. I would think there would be comparable options closer to home. See: <a href=“http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2013/09/did-i-really-go-to-harvard-if-i-got-my-degree-taking-online-classes/279644/”>http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2013/09/did-i-really-go-to-harvard-if-i-got-my-degree-taking-online-classes/279644/</a>

However, a degree from Harvard Extension School doesn’t mean the same thing to all employers: <a href=“http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/18/national/18harvard.html?pagewanted=all”>http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/18/national/18harvard.html?pagewanted=all</a>

Also, with regards to Admissions: <a href=“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvard_Extension_School”>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvard_Extension_School</a>


<p>To answer your question

With a Bachelor’s degree in hand, I would think you would be good-to-go. Whether you would be better served by an alternate path to a masters is a question only you can answer. </p>

<p>Wow this is excellent information! Thank you kindly! It is very helpful!</p>

<p>Being a numbers person I saw some interesting stats on Wikipedia: <a href=“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvard_Extension_School”>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvard_Extension_School</a></p>

<p>-The number of student enrolled in 2008 = 25,000 (wiki)</p>

<p>-The number of degrees awarded by the Extension School = 111 (for BA) + 91 for Masters = 202 degrees awarded in total in 2008. (wiki)</p>

<p>Given only 12% of the 25,000 are trying to get a degree (3000 students ) . In general these odds look bleak…</p>

<p>However, </p>

<p>But the data you stated above Gibby looks better: </p>

<p>" At HES, of the 13,000 students, only about 2,000 are admitted degree candidates, and the school confers about 600 bachelor’s and master’s degree every year". </p>

<p>This looks better because of the 13,000 only 12% are trying to get the degree (88% are casual class takers as stated above) and 600 degrees awarded is a much better number. </p>

<p>Therefore, as expected, there are a lot of figures being thrown around on the internet. and they directly conflict… (Haha :slight_smile: ).</p>

<p>I simply would like to know if one was a very good student at a great state school (3.95 GPA at Penn State) can you expect to get accepted and graduate with confidence.</p>

<p>Based off my research, I think so, but will not know for sure in till I try… Does anyone know anyone who was smart and tried the Masters program at the Extension School ? </p>


Let’s approach the question from another angle: One of the people I know who received their masters from Harvard’s Extension School is a 50-year old woman who switched careers. I believe she got her undergraduate degree from Emerson College and wanted to teach, so she needed a Masters in Education. After a lapse of 25 years from academia, she was easily able to enroll in the masters program at HES and graduate. She’s now teaching at a local Boston area school. Nothing against my friend, but HES does not have as high standards as Harvard College or any of the graduate schools at Harvard – so you don’t need to be “Harvard College” smart. That’s not what HES is about. FWIW: I don’t think a graduate degree from Harvard Extension School will get you a better job, or more money, or more prestige than a graduate degree from a flagship state college. In fact, depending upon the state – especially a state like Virginia with many incredible state schools (University of Virginia,The College of William and Mary, Virginia Tech, to name just a few) – you might have better options graduating from a state school over HES.</p>

<p>Excellent, thanks for that information! Makes sense and that is very interesting regarding your friend that is a teacher.It would be helpful because if you graduate from HES you’re an alumni and will have access to a good network. Also the job fairs and career resources at Harvard are excellent. Also, the Harvard Club in Manhattan seems great!</p>

<p>^^ To me, it seems like you’re looking at Harvard’s Extension School for superficial reasons if what you want is entry into the Harvard Club of Manhattan. But, to each his own.</p>

<p>Honestly , the main reasons are:</p>

<p>1) Will give my resume a nice boost as I don’t live in the Boston area.
2) I enjoy school and business coursework very much.
3) My work will pay for all of it.</p>

<p>1) Maybe folks will be impressed where you live now, but they can always google the school.
2) You can really get that anywhere – I bet even where you live now.
3) Well, that’s a plus, but if you don’t live in Boston, you’ll need an apartment, money for food, clothing utilities. etc. I hope your employer will be paying for that as well. If not, check out Craigslist to see the cost of living in Cambridge: <a href=“http://boston.■■■■■■■■■■■■■■/search/gbs/aap”>http://boston.■■■■■■■■■■■■■■/search/gbs/aap</a>? Keep in mind that unless the listing says Cambridge, you’ll need to commute by car, bus or the “T” to your classes.</p>

<p>Best of luck to you!</p>

<p>My work is impressed!! I don’t live in the Boston area. </p>

<p>No need to move to Boston, the hybrid classes count towards the residency and it’s just for the weekend! My work will pay for that. Thanks!</p>

<p>Also when they goggle it and go the the site it will say it’s a 100% valid Harvard Masters degree. That’s a fact right from the Harvard website . It’s not the most prestigious degree from Harvard, but is a Harvard degree.</p>

<p>But they are only impressed because they don’t know any better–what happens when you run into someone who knows better, like the bosses boss? Or the next employer? Just saying that if you have an opportunity for your master’s to get paid for I’d think carefully for what is the best for the long term goals, not to get the short term thrill of going to the Harvard Club which might be fun once, but…</p>

<p>Um what are you talking about. Yeah, they are going to go to the Harvard website and see its valid. Nothing to hide. Wow!</p>

<p>You’re correct, it’s valid. But when listing your degree on your resume, Linkedin account, or to your employer or future employers, HES requires students to use the identifier Extension School or Extension Studies as just listing “Harvard University” would be a misrepresentation of credentials. This from the HES website: <a href=“http://www.extension.harvard.edu/degrees-programs/program-guidelines-policies/graduation-requirements”>http://www.extension.harvard.edu/degrees-programs/program-guidelines-policies/graduation-requirements</a>


<p>Thanks Gibby. Yeah you are 100% correct and I can accept these resume conditions above and I am comfortable with it. </p>

<p>Remove the Harvard name from the equation and look at the Extension School for what it is: a school aimed at working adults who want to take classes here and there, and younger students who couldn’t afford or be admitted to high-profile colleges. Is that what you really want?</p>

<p>If they hired a graduate from a night school/online program from Penn State at my work , I wouldn’t question it or look down on it AT ALL. Nobody would question it or look down on it. Plain and simple. Nobody would care how they got it as long as the degree is real. Nobody would think the are not a “real Penn State Alumni”. I think 95% of the American public thinks this way too and would not look down on going to night school to get a degree. In my opinion only some select few Harvard alum in the Boston area think in way to look down on it. These kind of people live in their own fantasy world… The majority of the public are in the real world. </p>

<p>WilliamHill, nobody looks down on going to extension school (or night school, or whatever you want to call it). </p>

<p>What people look down on is when someone goes to an extension school (or the like) that is part of a prominent university just so the person can have the prominent university’s name on a resume. </p>

<p>Just do some digging on LinkedIn and there are tons of people who do something like go to an executive education program at Harvard (requiring just a few thousand dollars, and otherwise open to anyone) and then put “HARVARD” all over their resume and profile, as if an executive education certificate is remotely the same thing as an M.D. or B.A. from Harvard.</p>

<p>Don’t do that. Go to HES if it is genuinely the best school for you (regardless of name), but don’t do it just for the Harvard name, since people who know anything about Harvard know the difference, and there are plenty of schools that could open more doors for you.</p>

<p>I’ve taken a few continuing education classes at NYU’s School for Continuing and Professional Studies: classes that were targeted to a specific thing that I was dealing with at work. The classes were fine (and very helpful, actually), but I’d rather have a degree from a non-continuing education program, even if the school overall were less prominent than NYU.</p>

<p>That’s a great point. I would not like someone who spent tens of thousands of dollars on an HBS executive education program that lasted a couple days/weeks to say they “went to Harvard”. </p>

<p>Where we disagree is HES is not like the HBS executive education program. It takes years and years to graduate from HES. I also heard the professors use the same tests and material they use at The College. </p>


Yes, it does – especially when you’re planning to commute to Boston on the weekends to get it all done. I have a suspicion many students go down the same path as you, thinking they can easily commute to Boston on the weekends for classes. But, because the commitment takes years and years, the commute becomes a drain and a grind and they eventually drop out. For that reason, HES probably has more success with local students than commuters. But, best of luck to you.</p>

<p>You are incorrect. It’s for only 4 courses and just one weekend a course. Please research before you post. I look forward to the one week end trip per class that my company pays for! It will be great!! God is great! Goodluck to you :-)!</p>